Have you ever noticed that you feel more stressed when there are lots of things lying around in your home? Do you, perhaps, feel unnerved or unable to relax if you know that many tasks remain unfinished? Maybe you have let things slide so much that your home has become a dumping ground, and you don’t know where to start. For many people, a home that is in disarray can cause them to feel unhappy and, at times, completely overwhelmed. In extreme cases, it can lead to depression or other mental health problems. There are solutions to some of these issues, and with a little bit of time and hard work, your home can be clean and clutter-free. Here is a handy guide to help you on your way.
Declutter One Step at a Time
The first thing you must do is declutter. If your home is particularly messy, this might not feel like an achievable task, but if you break it down into more manageable sections, it will become easier. You might even find it therapeutic.
Before you start, have some boxes and trash bags ready. You are likely to have quite a bit to throw away as well as things you may want to donate to goodwill. Having boxes to hand will make the process far easier. Two of the many methods you can use to declutter are by category or by room. Decide which method suits you best. Decluttering by category entails going through different items like clothing, paperwork, books, etc. before moving onto the next. Room by room is self-explanatory and might be a good choice if you aren’t particularly motivated. Once a room is complete and you can see the results, it is more likely to spur you to continue to the next room. Once you have decluttered, don’t start filling your house up again with things you don’t need or won’t use. It is not only a waste of money but before you know it, you will be back to square one again. Here are some room-specific decluttering and cleaning tips:
Living room – If things are lying around, start with them first. Get rid of any trash and put as many items as you can away. If you have piles of DVD’s or CD’s that you rarely watch, go through them and sort out what you want to keep and what can be given away. Most movies and music are available online these days through various streaming platforms, so if they don’t hold any sentimental value, they might just be taking up space and gathering dust. Do the same thing with books and put anything you don’t want to keep to one side. You can donate these to your local library or goodwill. Once you have decluttered, open the windows and give the place a good spring clean. Clean surfaces first and then vacuum to finish.
Kitchen – For many, this can be the most overwhelming room to contend with. A good idea is to empty your cupboards of any crockery, gadgets, cutlery, etc and put everything in the middle of the floor. Go through it and consider how much of it you need. If you have a small family, do you need 4 dinner sets? Do you need the slow cooker your mom gave you three years ago that is still in the box? Figure out what you want to keep and get rid of the rest. Now you can start putting things back again. Wipe down your cupboards and put things you use most often on lower shelves to make them more accessible. Now to tackle your food pantry and cupboards. Use a similar principle as earlier and remove everything so you can see what you have. Check use-by dates and put anything that is out of date or unusable in the trash. Items such as seeds or grains should be stored in airtight containers. The same goes for snacks like candy or popcorn. All of these foods can attract vermin, (mice in particular) if they are not stored correctly and spillages not cleaned up. If you notice gnawing or teeth marks anywhere or come across droppings in your pantry, it could mean that you have some unwelcome visitors. They breed at a very quick rate, and so it’s a good idea to call a pest control company as soon as you notice anything unusual.
Bedrooms – It’s not uncommon for people, especially women, to have closets filled with clothes they wore twenty years ago or dresses that are 3 sizes too small. Try to be realistic when clearing out your closet. If there are things you are struggling to part with, put them in a storage bag and keep them in the garage or under the bed. Label it with the current date and promise yourself if you don’t wear them in a year, you will get rid of them. Having a minimal closet filled with clothes you love can make you feel so much better.
Bathrooms – If your vanity units are brimming with different beauty and hair products that you haven’t got around to using yet, separate them into categories and store them in baskets. Make a list of the products in each basket and, before buying anything else, check what you already have. It’s a great way to save money and use up all of your supplies.
If you try to clean your whole home in one go, you might find it completely overwhelming. Separate chores across the week, doing a room or two a day to make it more manageable. Make a list of every task that is needed for each space and tick it off as you go. Seeing your progress will make you more inclined to continue. Once you get into a routine, you will find it far easier to cope with and can start enjoying your uncluttered, beautiful home.